The Legislation of Morality and the Problem of Pain

George Anastaplo

in Reflections on Life, Death, and the Constitution

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780813125336
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135243 | DOI:
The Legislation of Morality and the Problem of Pain

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This chapter discusses the “classic” experiment with the regulation of substance abuse culminated in the provision in the Eighteenth Amendment. It illustrates the problem in the case of Gonzales v. Raich (2005), which assesses the power of the State of California to authorize, in its Compassionate Use Act of 1996, private access to marijuana for medical purposes, especially in order to relieve persistent excruciating pain. It notes that California, which had been (in 1913) one of the first States to restrict the use of marijuana, is now one of at least nine States that have attempted to authorize its use pursuant to the supervision of doctors. It further notes that the Attorney General of the United States challenged the authority of California to disregard what, it was argued by the Attorney General, was the intent and reach of an Act of Congress prohibiting the private possession and use of marijuana.

Keywords: morality; substance abuse; Eighteenth Amendment; Gonzales v. Raich (2005); California; Compassionate Use Act of 1996; marijuana; pain; Attorney General; Act of Congress

Chapter.  2901 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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